Any boat with divers operating
from it must always display signals by day or night
to inform other boat users. The daytime signal for
divers is an international Code Flag "A", at least
750mm long and 600mm wide.
During night time a boat must
show the international lights to indicate that "a
vessel is restricted in her ability to manoeuvre".
These are three lights in a vertical line, the top
and bottom are red and the middle one is white.
The diver's boat should also show
other appropriate lights such as an anchor light. A
diver who is not operating from a boat shall have a
personal buoy with an "A" flag mounted on it. This
flag should measure at least 300mm by 200mm. All
boats must also keep at least 50 metres clear of
boats or buoys showing diving signals.
Boating Tips for Divers
Before you depart from home leave
a detailed copy of your plan for the day with a
responsible friend. Be sure to tell them what time
you are expected to return home.
The Coastguard are there for your
safety. As soon as you are clear of the slipway,
call them to test your radio and remember to log in
with them before you venture out of the harbour.
Anchor and Line
Always check and ensure that your
anchor and chain are in extremely good condition.
The size of the line and chain, and the type and
weight of your anchor should suit your particular
boat as well as the type of bottom you intend to
Ensure you have plenty of line to
suit the depths of water that you normally anchor in
(at least 3 to 5 times the depth of water) and don't
forget to allow extra line for surge, tide and
increased wind. We also recommend that you mouse
shackles (use a piece of wire to prevent the pin
from coming undone and falling out).
When you enter the water, swim
down and check that your anchor is firmly embedded
and that your anchor line is not likely to snag on a
reef outcrop that may cause it to chafe through.
Get an up-to-date weather
forecast before you go. Sea Rescue Groups also offer
up-to-date weather forecasts for the area you are
operating in. Have contingency plans for bad
During a one hour dive things on
the surface can deteriorate rapidly with the arrival
of the sea breeze.
The practice of divers leaving
vessels unattended is very dangerous. The potential
for disaster is real when vessels are left
unattended by divers. DPI strongly recommends that a
responsible person stays onboard your boat at all
times whenever divers are below. This designated
person may be required to raise an alarm if the
diver is overdue to surface, to attend to the vessel
should it start drifting or to assist divers back
onboard after the dive.